Father-of-two Mark Spiro was arrested by NSW Police after he brought an Israel flag to a pro-Palestinian rally near Sydney’s Opera House on Monday night.
Pro-Palestinian protesters, who had marched from Town Hall, threw flares outside the Sydney Opera House and yelled “f..k Israel” and “f..k the Jews” as the sails were lit in blue and white.
According to Sky News, Mr Spiro was escorted away by three police officers and was told to not return to the Sydney CBD for 24 hours after the Israel flag incident.
“I walked from Town Hall Station across the road with a rolled-up flag. I was literally at the protest for three seconds,” Mr Spiro said.
“The next thing I know I’ve got multiple police officers trying to grab the flag off of me, then carry me away from the scene, telling me I’m arrested for breach of the peace.
“It was excessive and at the time having both your arms pinned back for effectively having a rolled up Israeli flag was shocking and confronting.”
Mr Spiro claimed his actions at the protest were a way of showing solidarity for Israel, following a surprise attack by Hamas fighters on Friday.
“The police they should feel ashamed of themselves quite frankly. I was an innocent bystander with a rolled up Israeli flag,” he said.
“The people that we are supporting and allowing a platform to celebrate the murder, rape, abduction of children, women, the elderly, are allowed to desecrate one of our most famous sites.”
Videos showing Mr Spiro being arrested has now gone viral following the incident.
A spokesperson from NSW Police said Mr Spiro was arrested to prevent a ‘breach of peace’ but no further action will be taken.